She Works Hard for the Money (album)

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She Works Hard for the Money
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 13, 1983
StudioLion Share Studios, Los Angeles, California; Hollywood Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California; Rhema Studio, Beverly Hills, California
ProducerMichael Omartian
Donna Summer chronology
Donna Summer
She Works Hard for the Money
Cats Without Claws
Singles from She Works Hard for the Money
  1. "She Works Hard for the Money"
    Released: May 10, 1983
  2. "Unconditional Love"
    Released: September 23, 1983
  3. "Love Has a Mind of Its Own"
    Released: January 10, 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauB+[3]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[4]

She Works Hard for the Money is the eleventh studio album by Donna Summer, released on June 13, 1983. It was her most successful album of the decade, and its title track became one of the biggest hits of her career.

Background and releases[edit]

After emerging on Casablanca Records as the foremost female star of the disco era of the 1970s, Summer in 1980 had sued for release from Casablanca to sign with David Geffen as the inaugural artist for his Geffen label where her recordings were a comparatively modest success: also Summer and David Geffen developed a contentious relationship evidenced by Summer's 1981 album I'm a Rainbow being shelved and the singer being forced by Geffen to leave her longtime producer Giorgio Moroder to record the 1982 album Donna Summer with Quincy Jones. Recent litigation had determined that Summer still owed Casablanca Records an album. Donna decided to go with Michael Omartian as producer to fulfill the contract. PolyGram issued these tracks on the Mercury label as She Works Hard for the Money with the title cut issued as advance single on May 10, 1983: the "She Works Hard for the Money" single became Summer's biggest hit since 1979 with a #3 peak on the Hot 100 in Billboard where it also spent three weeks at #1 on the R&B chart with this success impelling its parent album, released June 13, 1983, to #9.

She Works Hard for the Money was more pop/dance oriented than the two precedent Donna Summer albums, but also contained some soulful ballads, including "Love Has a Mind of Its Own", a duet with gospel singer Matthew Ward. It also contained a reggae-styled song called "Unconditional Love" which featured vocals by young black British group Musical Youth. Lyrically, the album dealt with subjects such as social injustice ("Stop, Look and Listen"), Jesus Christ ("He's a Rebel") and missing children ("People, People"). Many fans saw the album as a "return to form" for Summer – she was once again presented as a strong, powerful woman very much in control. During the 1970s, Summer's management had worked hard to portray her as a powerful, sexual fantasy figure to the point where they had become too involved in her personal life (which led to a period of depression for Summer before becoming a born-again Christian and filing a lawsuit against her record label). Since the disco era, Summer had experimented with different genres including new wave and rock, and some felt she had got a little "lost" in trying to find her musical place in the new decade. She Works Hard for the Money was universally acclaimed by music reviews and the album had helped establish her place as a 1980s pop/dance diva.

Summer was credited with writing or co-writing every track on the album, mostly alongside Michael Omartian, who was also the album's producer. It became her first Top 10 album in the U.S. since 1979 and produced a massively successful hit single in the form of the title track. The sleeve of the single and album pictured Summer as a waitress who "works hard for the money" and the song was a tribute to "the working woman". It was accompanied by a high-profile music video which became heavily promoted on MTV, soon after the breakthrough of Michael Jackson's success on the channel, leading the way for other black artists to be played. The song shot to Number 3 on the Hot 100 American singles chart, making it her biggest hit there since "The Wanderer" three years previously. The song was also given a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Several more singles were released from the album. The aforementioned "Unconditional Love" gave Summer her fourteenth UK Top 20 hit and peaked at #9 on the U.S. R&B chart. "Stop, Look and Listen" peaked at #57 on the UK Music Chart.[5] The soulful duet "Love Has a Mind of Its Own" with Matthew Ward peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #35 on the Billboard R&B Hits chart.[6]

The song "He's a Rebel" gained Summer the Grammy award for Best Inspirational Performance, her first win since 1980.[7] The album's closing ballad "I Do Believe (I Fell in Love)" was featured in the Netflix original series Stranger Things 2 in 2017.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."She Works Hard for the Money"Michael Omartian, Donna Summer5:19
2."Stop, Look and Listen"Omartian, Greg Phillinganes, Summer5:52
3."He's a Rebel"Jay Graydon, Omartian, Summer4:22
4."Woman"Graydon, Omartian, Bruce Sudano, Summer4:19
Side two
5."Unconditional Love"Omartian, Summer4:42
6."Love Has a Mind of Its Own"Omartian, Sudano, Summer4:16
7."Tokyo"Omartian, Sudano, Summer4:15
8."People, People"Omartian, Sudano, Summer4:09
9."I Do Believe (I Fell in Love)"Summer4:52



  • Arranged & produced by Michael Omartian
  • Recorded & mixed by John Guess at Lion Share Studios (Los Angeles), Hollywood Sound Recorders (Hollywood) & Rhema Studios (Beverly Hills)
  • Additional recording by Larry Fergusson & Ross Pallone
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman (at A&M Mastering) & Steve Hall (at Future Disc)
  • Art direction and design by Chris Whorf/Art Hotel
  • Photography by Harry Langdon
  • Compact disc design by Rick Hunt

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Freedberg, Michael. "She Works Hard for the Money > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "She Works Hard for the Money > Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  4. ^ Hill, Michael (September 29, 1983). "Donna Summer: She Works Hard for the Money : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2014-01-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "UK Charts > Donna Summer". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  6. ^ "Donna Summer > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of recorded sound Frank W. Hoffmann, Howard Ferstler – 2005 – Volume 2 – Page 1079 "She won Grammy awards for Best Inspirational Performance in 1983 and 1984, for "He's a Rebel" and "Forgive Me," respectively. "
  8. ^ Discogs
  9. ^ " – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  11. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  12. ^ " – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  13. ^ " – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  15. ^ " – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  16. ^ " – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  17. ^ "Donna Summer | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  18. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money". Music Canada.
  20. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973". Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Donna Summer – She Works Had For The Money". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type She Works Had For The Money in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.